2 February 1996

Good practice code

NITRATE vulnerable zones are being introduced under the EC Nitrate Directive. By 1999 land in the NVZs will be subject to mandatory good practice measures (see panel left).

Total area proposed for designation is 650,000ha (1.6m acres) with 70 zones in England, two in Wales and two in Scotland. Total recurring annual costs will be £3.1m. Hardest hit will be milk producers requiring extra storage to cover the closed period for field application of slurry. They face average annual costs of £4000 a farm, according to figures from the Department of the Environment in its consultation document.

Pig farmers on light soils will also be hit financially with estimated annual average costs at £3840 a farm. For those on heavy soils the cost is reduced to £1640.

Poultry units requiring extra land for spreading to meet the 170kg/ha nitrogen threshold face a £1530 bill.

For beef producers the annual costs for extra storage is put at £200 a farm. &#42